November 19, 2015
The National Institutes will no longer hold captive chimpanzees for biomedical research, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
According to a statement from NIH Director Francis Collins, the government agency's 50 remaining chimpanzees will be transferred to animal sanctuaries to live out the rest of their lives.
"It is time to acknowledge that there is no further justification for the 50 chimpanzees to continue to be kept available for invasive biomedical research" - NIH Director Francis Collins
The decision came amid much pressure among animal advocates who called the controversial practice of animal captivity inhumane.
“It is time to acknowledge that there is no further justification for the 50 chimpanzees to continue to be kept available for invasive biomedical research,” a statement from Collins obtained by the Washington Post said, noting “new scientific methods and technologies have rendered their use in research largely unnecessary.”
In the past two years, the NIH received just a single request to use one of its chimps for research, both of which were withdrawn, according to The Washington Post.
The NIH’s move leaves about 400 chimpanzees still captive for research purposes at private facilities throughout the nation.
Read the full Washington Post article here.